I'm home sick today with my summer bug:( So I have been on the internet and readin Bust magazine a bit. Anyways - whilst reading Bust I came over an article dealing with the history of bridesmaids and weddings in general.
Seen as I've been a bridesmaid twice, and I am going to be bridesmaid twice more in the next couple of years so I thought I'd share these interesting bridesmaid/wedding facts with the world
"In early Roman times, a woman who was about to be married would first have to make a pilgrimage from her village to that of her bethrothed. The journey was often long and dangerous: it was not uncommon for the procession to be attacked by dowry stealing thugs or jilted suitors hoping to kidnap the bride. Bu th this single woman had little to fear for she had her bridesmaids: a group of armed, unmarried women who protected her from her attackers"
"After the ancient Greeks and Romans, something odd happened:bridesmaids almost completely disappeared from Western history for the next 1,500 years."
"There are a few mentions of bridesmaids in other cultures during this time, scattered in the backs of early anthropology journals. Bridesmaids in 17th Century China would stay the wedding night in the bride's new home, and then visit her bedroom the next morning to make syre she had been treated well during the consummation. The Kanuri tribe in Africa had a simmilar practice. In 18th-century Russia, the groom would come and visit his future with and her friends at the brides family home. The bride's parents would welcome him with tea and drinks, but the bridesmaids, ever-protective of their friend, would taut and yell at him until he left."
"And then came the Victorians, who decided to market the whole damn thing. Up until the 19th Century in America, weddings were casual affairs, planned less than a week in advance. Then, beginning in the 1930's and progessing through the civil war, they underwent a transformation. Merchants, whose production abilities grew during the industrial revolution, recognised an untapped market. They began promoting the "traditional" wedding"
"19th Century shopkeers decided that white dresses and dinner receptions were necessary aspects of respectable weddings"
"To flaunt their social position, parents started purchasing cakes and flower bouquets rather than making them at home. Wedding salons, in which a bride could buy her gown rather than wear an old dress or sew a newone herself, became increasing popular"
" Along with the progression towards elaborate pageantry came another notion: The bride needed help. Lots of it. She needed someone to help her pick her dress, choose the cake, pen the invitations. And so the modern bridesmaid was born"